Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Gang Activity and the Death Penalty

Posted on: January 14, 2009 at 7:23 a.m.

Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys understand that when criminal activity, especially violent criminal activity, is coupled with gang activity, the resulting penalty can be severe. For most Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys, part of the defense strategy when defending someone accused of a gang-related crime is to debunk the "gang" accusation.

For years, authorities say, McGhee waged a campaign of terror in the northeastern part of Los Angeles. A shot-caller for a long-entrenched gang, he hunted rivals but sometimes killed indiscriminately, boasting in rap lyrics about the pleasure he felt in taking life.

He taunted law enforcement and led a sophisticated ambush that ensnared two Los Angeles Police Department officers in a barrage of gunfire. While locked up, he incited jail riots and assaulted guards, responding to one attack in which an officer survived by saying, "Next time I'll have to stab him." On Friday, McGhee, once one of the nation's most sought-after fugitives, sat shackled in orange jailhouse scrubs as Superior Court Judge Robert J. Perry sentenced him to death for the murder of three people.

"He is a committed killer and an obvious danger to society," Perry said. Police and prosecutors described McGhee as a thrill killer who was among the most feared members of the Toonerville gang, which was formed in the 1950s and claims as its turf a largely middle class area north of Los Feliz Boulevard between San Fernando Road and the Los Angeles River.

Violent felony convictions carry serious jail-time, and the "time off for good behavior" line you hear on television is rarely a reality. Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys, such as the attorneys at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, defend those accused of violent crimes every day. Violent crimes are criminal acts that involve the use or threat of violence. In most cases, violence is used as a means to an end, especially during crimes such as rape and robbery. During the commission of a violent crime, the offender may or may not use a weapon. If the offender uses a weapon while committing a violent crime, the offense will usually be classified as felony.

Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP is a criminal defense law firm that has been helping clients throughout Southern California contest their criminal charges and obtain superior results for years. Our skilled violent crimes attorneys have over 50 years of collective court room experience and we are fully prepared to undertake our clients cases. When we work with our clients, we do everything possible to make sure that they receive the attention, resources, and dedicated legal counsel that they deserve.

Tagged as: gang allegations, jury trial defense

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